The Strategic Importance of Maintenance and Reliability Case Study


Poor maintenance can have negative effects; it can be disruptive and expensive, as well as very wasteful. Good reliability management enhances the performance of the firm and protects its investments. The objective of maintenance and reliability is to maintain the capability of the system. Good maintenance removes variability. Systems must be designed and maintained to reach expected performance and quality standards. Maintenance includes all activities involved in keeping a system’s equipment in working order. Reliability ensures that the machine will operate for some time should there be proper conditions for this.

Maintenance Tactics

There are four essential reliability tactics that can help support the maintenance of the production system. The reliability tactics are, improving individual components and providing redundancy. Maintenance tactics are “implementing or improving preventive maintenance” and “increasing repair capabilities and speed.”Because failures occur in the real world, understanding their occurrence is an important reliability concept. Mathematical methods are used to compute reliability. The basic measure of reliability is the product failure rate (FR). Firms producing high technology equipment often provide failure rate data on their products.The most common term in reliability analysis is the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF), which means the expected time between repair and the next failure of a component, machine processes, or product.To increase the reliability of systems, redundancy is added. The technique to be used here is to back up components with additional components. This is known as putting units in parallel, and it is a standard operation management tactic. Redundancy is provided to ensure that if one component fails, there are always sufficient resources for another one.There are two types of maintenance, preventive maintenance and breakdown maintenance. Preventive maintenance is a plan that involves routine inspections, servicing, and keeping facilities in good repair to prevent failure. Breakdown maintenance is remedial maintenance that occurs when equipment fails and must be repaired on an emergency basis.To perform preventive maintenance, we must know when a system requires maintenance, or when it is likely to fail. Failure occurs at different stages of the “life” of a product.

A high initial failure rate is known as infant mortality, which may exist in a product. By determining MTBF (mean time between failures) distributions, we have a candidate for preventive maintenance even if the maintenance is expensive.Because reliability and preventive maintenance are, seldom perfect most firms opt for some level of repair capability. Enlarging or improving repair capabilities can get the system back faster. However, not all repairs can be done in the firm’s facility; managers must therefore decide where repairs are to be performed.Autonomous maintenance is where employees can predict failure, prevent breakdowns, and prolong equipment life with autonomous maintenance. Total productive maintenance involves the concept of reducing variability through autonomous maintenance and excellent maintenance practices.


The following techniques have proven to be beneficial to effective maintenance, Simulation, expert systems, and sensors.


Frito-Lay can use sophisticated computer programs like Simulation, for example, to schedule machine maintenance and be able to prevent machine breakdowns,Expert systems can also help Frito-Lay in isolating and repairing various faults in machines and equipment,By the use of advanced sensors that detect machine and equipment faults early enough, Frito-Lay will be able to prevent their unexpected failures.


The facility will experience less equipment downtime and major stoppages, Staff will be able to understand the performance of their equipment and help solve problems quicker and improve production,The facility will experience less scrap, reworks, and waste levels ,There will be more efficient teamwork to improve flexibility.


Employees need training for them to be able to perform maintenance tasks, which are costly to the firm ,A misjudgment by an employee can lead to machine breakdown.


They are able to solve multiple problems that occur in the facility.


They are expensive to hire and maintain.

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